Raiders News: Ex-Seahawks, Lions TE Luke Willson Signs Contract with Oakland

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorMarch 30, 2019

Detroit Lions tight end Luke Willson carries during the second half of an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks, Sunday, Oct. 28, 2018, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Rey Del Rio)
Rey Del Rio/Associated Press

The Oakland Raiders announced Friday that they have signed ex-Seattle Seahawks and Detroit Lions tight end Luke Willson. Terms were not disclosed.

Willson caught 13 passes for 87 yards in Detroit last season. He signed with the Lions after five years in Seattle. The 29-year-old won Super Bowl XLVIII with the Seahawks, and he averaged 18 receptions for 226 yards per season and scored 11 touchdowns in his Seattle tenure.

The Raiders are experiencing turnover at the tight end position, part of a face-lift for the entire pass-catching crew.

Jared Cook, who caught 68 passes for 896 yards and six touchdowns, has signed with the New Orleans Saints. He was Oakland's No. 1 receiver. Wideout Jordy Nelson, who was second on the team in receiving yards, has retired.

The Raiders traded for Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown to give the passing game a boost.

Backup tight ends Lee Smith and Derek Carrier are still on the roster, but they combined for just 17 receptions for 140 yards and four touchdowns last season.

Willson figures to add a bit more in the pass game, although it's possible the Raiders choose a tight end in the draft.

Matt Miller of Bleacher Report listed three tight ends (Iowa's T.J. Hockenson and Noah Fant and Alabama's Irv Smith Jr.) in the top 31 of his pre-NFL Scouting Combine big board. The Raiders have three picks in the top 27 of this year's draft, so it's possible they spend one on a member of that trio.

For now, Willson looks like a solid candidate to emerge as the team's No. 1 tight end.